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Laundry Myths Busted - No more laundry headaches!


Cloth diaper laundry

In a recent survey conducted by Bumpadum, laundry was identified as the biggest challenge that existing users of cloth diapers faced. It was also quoted as the biggest reason for parents not to move to cloth diapers. So let's bust some myths around laundry!

P.S.: If you want to know what cloth diapers are, have a quick look here!

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Myth 1 : You need to do laundry one or more times a day with cloth diapers

Totally unnecessary. There are many cloth diapering parents who do laundry once in 2-3 days, depending on how many cloth diapers they have. Just store used diapers in an open dry bucket or a closed wetbag and you don't need to worry about them until laundry time. Of course, if the diaper is pooped in, make sure to knock the solids into the toilet first and use a health faucet/diaper sprayer to ensure there is no poop left on the diaper.

Myth 2 : Cloth diapers need to be washed by hand to get them totally clean

Again, totally untrue. Cloth diapers can be washed by washing machine or by hand, depending on your preference. They can even be added into a load of regular clothes that are being washed in the machine. In this case, just ensure that you rinse the cloth diapers separately before adding in the remaining clothes.

Myth 3 : Washing cloth diapers is gross/messy

Mess is caused by poopy diapers. Since you flush all poop into the toilet before storing, you do not encounter mess during washing at all.

Now that we have busted some myths, let's talk about the ideal way to wash cloth diapers.

1) What do you do after taking off a diaper?

For poopy diapers, knock the solids into the toilet and flush. Use a diaper sprayer/health faucet (the sprayer next to most western toilets in India) to spray water thoroughly on the inside of the diaper to ensure all poop is washed out. If done right, your hands will remain clean and dry at the end of this process :)

For diapers with just pee, rinse the insert and shell thoroughly in cold water and hang the insert on the sides of a dry open bucket.

If unable to rinse the diaper immediately, store in a closed waterproof wetbag until you can rinse. A wetbag also prevents smells from escaping. Don't forget to rinse at the end of the day or even just before washing.

2) What do you do before washing?

If you are washing by machine, start with a rinsing cycle (or pre-wash cycle) with a little bit of detergent - this gives a boost to the main wash cycle by starting the process of cleaning. If you are washing by hand, rinse in cold water with a little bit of detergent. This cycle can be run for 10-15 minutes.

3) How do you wash the diapers?

Essentially, you need to wash the diapers in a way that will leave them thoroughly clean without any remnant pee/detergent on them. Remnant pee will cause the diapers to stink and leave rashes after a few days of use. Remnant detergent will cause the diaper to not absorb well. Use an enzyme-free, fragrance-free detergent in order to preserve the waterproof layer. In India, we recommend using one of these three detergents: Rustic Art Power Laundry, Surf Excel or Tide Original Unscented. The washing part of the cycle needs to be at least 30 mins long to ensure clean diapers. Rinsing and spinning time extra.

Here are a few guidelines that will help you get the diapers totally clean.

  • Detergent: Use enough detergent that you would use for a soiled/very dirty load of normal clothes.
  • Warm water: Washing with warm water helps the detergent clean better. The water temperature for regular washing should not exceed 40 degrees Celsius in order to preserve the waterproof layer.
  • Rinsing: Ensure you rinse the diapers well after washing to remove any remnant detergent. This may mean adding an extra rinse step in your regular washing cycle.

4) How do you dry the diapers?

Line drying in the sun is best. Sunning also fades away any stains. You can also tumble dry the inserts like regular clothes.

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This should cover 99% of all laundry issues you may face. If you have very hard water, you may need a couple of extra guidelines, click here to find out more.

Leave a comment if you have faced any other laundry problems, we would love to help you out!


4 comments


  • Sabitha

    Do we need to wash the inserts and he shell separately? Can I mix and wash prefolds,flats and inserts together?


  • sindhu haldal

    Kindly elaborate on drying the washed inserts. I am having a tough time getting the inserts dry. Even after 24hours the inserts as well as the shells don’t dry. Method of wash is hand wash. Method of drying is sun drying or line drying. Kindly help. Forgot to mention I have twin babies 5 month old. This makes it worse when inserts don’t dry soon. Should I stash more or change my way of drying and washing


  • Dr. Sangeeta Appannavar

    Hi, till now as my kid was on breastfeeding completely I had no issues of stains of poo… But now tat he’s started with semi-solid foods, stains of post-poo/pee r left out even after washing thoroughly. I do hand wash. Feeling as if I’m giving stained clothing to my kid. I use surf excel detergent . Can I use scrub brush to clean the stain tat is left out ? Or any other source ?
    Kindly help. . TIA. .😊


  • Pushpa

    hi..is it okay to store used diapers without rinsing before giving a wash? doesn’t the ammonia build up of pee adversely affect the quality of the diaper?


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